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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, June 6, 2022

Former US Marine Angel Dominguez Ramirez, Jr. Leader of 'El Seg 39' Organization Sentenced to 16 Years in Federal Prison

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

Angel Dominguez Ramirez Jr., a former U.S. Marine with dual U.S. and Mexican citizenship, was sentenced in federal court to 195 months in prison for leading an international organization that transported ton-quantities of cocaine from South America to Mexico and into the United States.

Dominguez had previously entered a guilty plea to International Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Money Laundering Conspiracy. In pronouncing the sentence yesterday, U.S. District Judge William Q. Hayes noted the “staggering” amount of cocaine that Dominguez smuggled.

“This case is a perfect example of how DEA and our law enforcement partners work together to dismantle criminal organizations,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Shelly S. Howe.

“Today’s sentence sends a message that the leaders of even the most powerful criminal organizations will be held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman.

“Today’s sentencing of Dominguez is a strong example of HSI’s ongoing efforts to target and dismantle the most significant drug trafficking organizations in the world, whose multi-billion dollar criminal networks funnel drugs onto our streets and spread violence into our communities,” said Chad Plantz, Special Agent in Charge of HSI San Diego. “We will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners in Mexico to root out the leaders of these insidious cartels, wherever they may be found, and bring them to justice.”

From US Marine to Drug Kingpin

Angel Dominguez Ramirez Jr.'s turn from a U.S. Marine to the leader of a Mexican drug trafficking cell can be traced back to the night of Nov. 29, 1994.

That’s when he swerved to avoid hitting a deer on a back road in North Carolina and flipped his car off a bridge into the water. He was seriously injured, forcing a medical discharge from the Marines and ending his dream of joining a special operations unit. Even more devastating, his two daughters, ages 3 and 4, who were in the backseat, were killed.

After the accident and end of his Marine career, he struggled to find work and deal with his trauma, his lawyer wrote.

When he was 27, he agreed to deliver a load of marijuana after it was crossed from Mexico and was arrested in Texas. He pleaded guilty and served 13 months in federal custody.

He and his brother-in-law later started a small construction company, but that went under with the crash of the housing market. He moved his family to Mexico in 2007 to work with an architect cousin. Dominguez is a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, he was born in Guadalajara but settled in the border town of Roma, Texas, at age 8. While there, he met people involved in marijuana and cocaine smuggling, and he saw the illicit work as a way to financially support his family, his lawyer said.

As part of the investigation, law enforcement in the U.S. and other countries seized more than 4,300 kilograms of cocaine in Mexico, Costa Rica, Texas, and Chicago, as well as more than $7 million, prosecutors said. Dominguez was arrested in Mexico in connection to the U.S. investigation in 2016 and extradited to San Diego.

According to a court document, the organization Dominguez headed called itself El Seguimiento 39, El Seg 39, or simply “The Company.” According to the same document, Dominguez built his organization through cooperative alliances with the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO), the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG), the Sinaloa Cartel, the Cartel del Golfo (CDG), and Los Zetas.

Other publicly filed documents note that El Seg 39 also used its contacts with corrupt high-level Mexican officials to thwart investigations into its drug trafficking activities. As noted in court documents, agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) estimate that at its height El Seg 39 used these alliances to smuggle approximately 10 tons of cocaine into the United States each month and move at least $10 million dollars of drug proceeds back into Mexico monthly.

El Seguimiento 39's Political Protection

Dominguez’s organization sourced cocaine from Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, up through Central America, and into Chiapas, Mexico, according to prosecutors. Transportation cells would move the cocaine into Mexico using boats, aircraft, and commercial vehicles, then through the California and Texas borders for distribution into the United States, according to the court filing.

The organization also used a reverse pipeline moving drug proceeds from the U.S. back south, according to the indictment that was partially unsealed this week. Dominguez was arrested in Mexico in 2016. He is a dual U.S. citizen who served as a Marine, prosecutors said. According to his U.S. passport application, he walks with a limp due to a combat-related injury.

He is accused of using his military training as an original member of the Los Zetas paramilitary cartel, which was first formed as an enforcement wing for the Cartel del Golfo. He was known as “Zeta 39,” prosecutors said, no doubt informing the name of his current organization, “El Seguimiento 39.”

Prosecutors say he built his organization through cooperative alliances with the Beltran Leyva Organization, the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, the Sinaloa Cartel, the Cartel del Golfo and the Los Zetas. He also called upon corrupt government officials, authorities said.

Those corrupt relationships were on full display in 2017, when Ivan Reyes Arzate was taken down in Chicago. Reyes was a top federal police commander and the highest-ranking member of Mexico’s Sensitive Investigation Unit. He served as a liaison with U.S. law enforcement officials, privy to sensitive information about some of the most important U.S. investigations into drug cartels.

In approximately November 2016, while participating in a joint investigation of El Seguimiento 39 with U.S. law enforcement authorities, Reyes Arzate met with the leadership of El Seguimiento 39, shared with them information about the U.S. law enforcement investigation, and accepted a $290,000 bribe in exchange for his agreement to assist the cartel. The amount of cocaine involved in the conspiracy attributable to the defendant as a result of his conduct, and the conduct of others, was more than 450 kilograms.

Turns out, Reyes was leaking the information to the cartels.

The first hint came when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Chicago asked Reyes’ unit to conduct surveillance of a meeting of traffickers in Cancun. Wiretapped communications then revealed that someone named “Ayala” — later determined to be Reyes — warned one of the traffickers about the investigation and suggested he lay low.

“You were the target,” Reyes warned.

Scrutiny turned to Reyes as the mole when U.S. agents intercepted a call between Dominguez and another trafficker.

“Who is Ivan?” Dominguez asked, according to prosecutors.

“The boss,” the other trafficker said.

Dominguez began to rely heavily on Reyes for information about the overlapping San Diego-Chicago DEA investigation.

At one point, Reyes admitted to meeting with Dominguez in Mexico City. Dominguez had proposed a plan: that he supply the federal police with incriminating information against the current plaza bosses in the Gulf state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. Once they were arrested, Dominguez could replace them with less violent bosses.

Reyes’ leak in the investigation prompted one confidential DEA informant — who had been paid more than $1 million for cooperating — to be evacuated from Mexico for safety. Years earlier, when Reyes had worked for the Beltran Leyva cartel, he revealed another cooperator’s identity, resulting in the cooperator’s torture and death at the hands of cartel assassins, authorities said.

Dominguez and another unnamed co-conspirator knew of Reyes’ prior relationship with the Beltran Leyva group and threatened to use it as leverage against the official if they needed to, according to intercepted communications.

Reyes turned himself in to authorities in Chicago in February 2017, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The complaint against Reyes in Chicago had acknowledged that an indictment had been filed against Dominguez in San Diego, but noted it was sealed. His name was finally unsealed along with the names of eight others. The names of more than 25 people charged in the case remain sealed.

Reyes Arzate was directly subordinate to Genaro García Luna and both will be prosecuted by the same Judge. The former Secretary of Public Security ended his administration in December 2012 and Reyes remained until 2017 at the UAS, where he was the main contact of the PF with the DEA. Like García Luna, he was accused of protecting the Beltrans.


  1. Its insane that the government gives cartel leaders 15-20 years sentences, and then the hardcore junkie that sells like a oz to feed their own drug habit will get the same sentence as a leader of drug origination

    1. If the junkies live in NY or CA, they don’t even receive a slap on the wrist (unless they are white males)

    2. I think you meant to say that if you're a white junky in California then you wont even get a slap on the wrist and i get you if thats what you were saying. Yeah bro im from Califas but I been in South Carolina and from the most liberal to the most racist state. The one thing you can count on is that double standard.

    3. 3:38 Junkies come in many colors, not just Whites. I think Sir is a junkie of "M" .

    4. Black and Brown judges need to get payback by whacking white boys with the upward departures. Get back feels great. When I was a waiter in college I served white people dead last. Racist, huh? Damn right it was.I didn't give a fuck. I was sick to my stomach of dealing with toxic white people.

    5. 6:47 is the brave and proud Rainbow Junkie...

  2. Good Job waiting on you don’t build a case and waist time. I can get you too never land right away. Shout out to JRambo

  3. Lalo Mantecas maybe starring in a video

    1. It's a rumor at this point. No official confirmation yet. Still if its true we should expect a video soon enough. It'll be interesting to see what all he has to say for his actions.

    2. Simon just a rumor. JULG is saying his family has "filed a missing person report" according to his LEO contacts in Morelia. Someone made a comment that his "junky" red Jeep was found with several bullet impacts and that it's been several days since that happened.

  4. Garcia Luna did not protect the Beltranes, matter of fack he betrayed them and got el barbas murdered and stole his whole operation in cahoots with then governor EPN, if they are in trouble now it is because el barbas was not in it all by himself..
    El Toro Marine Air Station closed for "contamination" was famous for their drug trafficking and murders of Marines officers back in the day, nobody has ever paid for that shit, and this latino like genarco and cienpedos are getting minimum sentences for more than 5 pounds to keep them silent, or else...whadfa fack!!

    1. You sure like to mix in some mumbo jumbo into it. There was an era, that the military branches were downsizing locations, it was NEVER that the place was contaminated as a matter of fact, it was made into a park. Dios mio!

    2. Sirñorita nowadays most guys don't care if you're married. They just want to know what's the best to call you muñeca. 🤣

    3. SIR make sure you get some sleep tonight, don't be a 24 he , internet junkie.

    4. The homes and the park built around the El Toro base actually had issues. Residents were told not to plant fruit trees in certain areas due to soil contamination.

  5. It's not Mexico where you can built on land, without running tests. City Hall has strict permit permission, before building homes, environment survey has to be done. Soil had to be graded.
    If passes like it did homes are permitted to be built.

    1. "BETRAYAL, Marines, Murder and Crack Cocaine"
      by Robert O'Dowd and Tim King
      Author withdrew his book and split it into 2 other books, but you could buy it used, pay special attention to the murder of USMC Col James E. Sabow for threatening to blow the whistle and the cover-up by the Marine Corps.


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